While we waited yesterday for the NBA conference, specifically, Adam Silver, to announce what would be Donald Sterling's punishment for his reprehensible racist remarks, we decided to examine just how deep-rooted his hatred is. This may not come as a surprise.
Fuck Donald Sterling. Let's just get that out of the way off the top. Regardless of your opinion on how Clipper's players handled it, or what the NBA will have to do in the aftermath, we can all agree that Sterling is a despicable human being that is clearly living in an alternate universe where he thinks his view on "culture" is acceptable. But let's not act surprised guys, this doesn't come as an Earth-shattering shock to anyone, at least, it shouldn't. This man has a detailed record of behaving this way, and he's shown on multiple occasions that he doesn't care to change either.
If we go back to 2003, there was a lawsuit brought against Sterling by a group of tenants in some of his rental properties across Los Angeles. In their sworn testimonies, they claimed Sterling was "racially abusive" and "systematically biased", claiming he was against renting out apartments to Hispanic people because "I don't like Mexican men...they smoke, drink, and just hang around the house." To add fuel to the fire, in the same lawsuit, he was quoted as saying he didn't want to rent apartments to Black people because of their, according to Sterling, propensity to attract rodents, "because they smell, they're not clean." Testimony from this case was then also used when the Justice Department brought a suit against Sterling, claiming he made it a business practice of not renting apartments to minorities or families with children. Sterling eventually settled in 2009 to the tune of almost $3 million, making it the largest settlement ever reached by the Justice Department in a housing discrimination case. At least we can take solace in the fact that Sterling doesn't just hate Black people, he also hates Hispanic people and apparently children. Call him whatever you want, but don't say he's not an Equal Opportunity Hate Monger.
Donald Sterling, however, is not the only person to blame here. How about the NBA, in particular former commissioner David Stern, for not only never bringing any form of discipline against Stern after countless incidents of blatant discrimination, but protecting him at almost every turn. Now, I understand that a commissioner in a professional sports league is appointed and paid by the owners, but at what point does moral fiber outweigh job security?
Or how about the NAACP, who not only gave Sterling a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009 amidst the aforementioned lawsuit that was going on? There was no internet way back in 2009, so I'm sure they didn't know about the whole rodent thing. To make matters even worse, the organization was about to hand Sterling a second Lifetime Achievement Award in May, which they now say they will not do. So they clearly couldn't find anybody else to give an award to, because 1. he didn't die, so it's still the same "Lifetime" covered with his 2009 award, and 2. he is what the NAACP was literally formed to fight against.
Or how about Maria Vanessa Perez, better known as V. Stiviano? Sterling's girlfriend is currently being sued by Sterling's wife for essentially being a golddigger, seducing her husband in the pursuit of a $1.8 million condo and $500,000 worth of automobiles (a Ferrari, a Range Rover, and TWO Bentleys, if you care). Although its reprehensible enough that women do this to old men, I don't necessarily feel bad for him considering he's a fairly smart guy, bigotry notwithstanding, so he should have figured that out. That isn't even my real problem with her, if I was a young, beautiful woman that didn't mind wrinkly old balls I might have some baller whips in my driveway too. My real gripes are that, first of all, if you're a woman that is half Black and half Mexican, how the hell are you with this guy? Have you no self respect? In the leaked audio, she actually seems to apologize for her skin color. If that doesn't help Mrs. Sterling win the GoldDigger case, I don't know what will.
As for what happens next, if history is any indication, the NBA will continue to ignore Sterling's brazen disregard for civil rights, and equality in general. They'll have to do something, he'll probably be suspended the for the rest of the playoffs and have to make a large donation to the NAACP. Hell, they'll probably give him another Lifetime Achievement Award. Adam Silver, the new NBA Commissioner, is set to make his first statement on the matter at 2PM, so I'm sitting here waiting to hear some legal mumbo jumbo about how they haven't verified if it truly is Sterling in the leaked audio, or how he's old and senile and doesn't know what he's saying, blah blah blah. It's starting.
Wow...nice job Silver, gave him the Ol' Petey Rose. Plot twist.
In case you missed the conference, the NBA has banned Donald Sterling from the NBA for life, including but not limited to attending any NBA games, conducting any NBA-related business, or making any player or personnel decisions. They've also fined Sterling $2.5 million, the maximum allowed within the NBA Constitution, the sum of which will be donated to organizations dedicated to anti-discrimination and tolerance efforts that will be jointly selected by the NBA and the players' association, which is led by Clippers' Point Guard Chris Paul. Silver also stated he will do everything in his power to convince the other owners in the NBA to force Sterling to sell the Clippers, which would require a 75% vote. When asked if he thought he'd have the backing of the owners in this vote, he empathically stated that he didn't forsee any issues in getting the vote passed.
This was an historic day, not only in sports, but in race relations. I don't think anyone today is complaining about how Adam Silver and the NBA handled the situation, and the only way it could end any sweeter is if Magic Johnson opens his wallet and buys the team. After Sterling saying he didn't want Magic at his games, there's no more badass response than telling him they're not his games any more. The last time our country hated someone so unanimously, then triumphed in their downfall could have been the day we got Osama. So God Bless America...and TMZ.